Take a journey through the Mugello, along the roads leading to the municipalities of Scarperia, Barberino di Mugello and San Piero a Sieve.
Mugello was an area beloved by the Medici family, who frequently visited Campiano, a town in the municipality of Barberino di Mugello. The Medici family and especially Lorenzo the Magnificent left behind them many signs of a power that combined economic and political expansion with the most innovative artistic expression.
Visitors can travel through this area with the means of transportation they prefer, across what today are secondary roads of the historic route, finding on their way monuments and noteworthy artistic works, as well as minor and original signs of a great civilisation.
The tour begins in Scarperia, built as a Florentine outpost along the via Bolognese to become an important market and a popular place of rest, thanks to its position. The town is home to the Palazzo dei Vicari, a beautiful building that features on its façade, the coat of arms of the "vicari" that ruled the territory. The 14th-century structure has undergone several transformations and restorations over the years, but it still keeps intact its charm. Inside the Palazzo, you can admire a magnificent fresco from the workshop of Ghirlandaio (1501), and the ancient clock machinery (taken away from the bell tower) made by the genius Filippo Brunelleschi.
The building also hosts the Museum of Ferri Taglienti that retraces the history of the knife production in Scarperia. Around via Solferino, visitors can buy handmade knives in the town’s workshops.
From Scarperia, go to Sant’Agata, where there is a beautiful Romanesque parish church, the most famous sacred building in the Mugello. Once you reach Galliano, go down towards the swim-worthy Bilancino Lake and then visit the Convent of the Bosco ai Frati, rebuilt for Cosimo de’ Medici based on designs by Michelozzo. Inside there is an incredible crucifix believed to be made by Donatello.
Turning towards San Piero a Sieve, you will find the Cafaggiolo Medici Villa, one of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s favourite residences and a splendid example of Renaissance architecture. Not far, atop a hill surrounded by cypress trees, is the Trebbio Castle, another incredible Medici-owned building. It is a private building but you can visit it on appointment.